This article was originally published in the fall 2014 Harker Quarterly.
Kelly Espinosa is the director of summer and preschool programs and longtime picnic coordinator.
The Harker community was deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of alumna dad, longtime volunteer and all around great guy, Fred Carr.
As soon as his daughter (“Lifer” Emily Carr ’09) joined Harker in 1996, Fred could be seen volunteering all around campus. He sat on the development council from 1997- 2003, was a dedicated library volunteer for many years, served as an ambassador for new parents, and helped with the fashion show and many performing arts events. He did it all!
Where Fred left his biggest mark was as a loyal and indispensable member of the picnic committee for almost 18 years. His handyman skills and his creative but practical perspective made him the “go-to guy” in a field of mostly mom volunteers. Fred brought his own tools, built things at home, scouted out new ideas and was a favorite of the facilities crew because, as one of the crew said, he “actually knew what he was doing!” Even after Emily graduated from Harker in 2009, Fred’s commitment to the picnic never wavered. He came to picnic meetings, spent weeks building games, put in late nights and never stopped prepping for all the crazy things the picnic committee dreamed up. He was always the first one to arrive on picnic morning and made sure he was available throughout the day for whatever needed to be done.
Fred was a strong, quiet man, with a warm, gentle nature and a dry sense of humor. He was always there when we needed him, and we truly could not have run the picnic for all those years without him.
A large contingent of picnic volunteers (from 1996 to the present day) gathered at his Celebration of Life ceremony, held in mid-August, to remember him and support his wife, Candy, and Emily. There’s no doubt we will miss him and that every October his picnic pals will be lifting our glasses and offering a tearful toast to our dear, dear friend.